Webinars to support Engineering Climate Action

A university's journey towards a sustainable future

Hear from Professor Jan Evans-Freeman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Sustainability at the University of Canterbury (UoC) and Engineering New Zealand President, about the Uni's journey towards sustainability.

Learn about UoC's ambition to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development goals and how they ranked first in the world for the Responsible Consumption and Production goal in 2022.

The Mauri Model Decision Making Framework

In this Climate Conversation, Dr Kēpa Morgan DistFEngNZ (Ngāti Pikiao of Te Arawa) will present on his development of the Mauri Model Decision Making Framework. This innovative decision-making tool considers a range of worldviews, from mātauranga Māori to engineering and science, and uses the concept of mauri (lifeforce) as the measure of sustainability, observing the four dimensions of environmental, cultural, social and economic wellbeing.

Dr Morgan is an experienced Consultant Engineer, Researcher, Academic and General Manager with an accomplished track record working with indigenous knowledge in complex systems, renewables, forestry and water resource management.

New Zealand Battery Other Technologies Feasibility Study (NZBOTFS)

New Zealand has large renewable energy sources but we still face power generation shortfalls in a "dry year". These are currently addressed by burning fossil fuel. The New Zealand Battery Project sought practical options to provide dry year generation from renewable resources. Hear from Dr Lindsay Robertson and Rebecca Tjaberings, presenting on the New Zealand Battery Project Other Technologies Feasibility Study – commissioned by MBIE to investigate a reduction in reliance on coal-fired generation.

For further information on the NZBOTFS please contact:

Rebecca Tjaberings

Director Power & Energy – WSP New Zealand

+64 9 918 5155


Dr Lindsay Robertson

Principal Engineer (New Energy) Power & Energy – WSP New Zealand

+64 21 240 6863


Embodied carbon and operational efficiency for New Zealand buildings

In this Climate Conversation, Katie Symons and Elrond Burrell present on MBIE’s Building for Climate Change programme, charting the course for the regulation of embodied carbon and operational efficiency for buildings in Aotearoa. Katie gives an update on the technical methodology for embodied carbon and Elrond delves into the technical methodology for operational efficiency. The Climate Conversation will shed light on what engineers need to know about the methodology and content, and what the next steps are in incorporating it into New Zealand’s regulatory system.

Can we fix it? Yes we can – but only with a systems view

In this Climate Conversation Dr Catherine Knight gives an insightful and thought-provoking presentation on the need to take a systems view in order to combat climate change. She explores the concept of Carbon Tunnel Vision, Planetary Boundary Overshoot and how we can best support the transition to a sustainable future.

Catherine Knight is an award-winning writer, environmental historian and a policy practitioner currently working at the interface between urban planning and transport. She is an Honorary Research Associate at the School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, and has published a number of books, including New Zealand's Rivers: An environmental history and Beyond Manapouri: 50 years of environmental politics in New Zealand (Canterbury University Press). 

Shifting economics and the roles of engineering

It is increasingly plausible that economics will shift from outdated assumptions of 'rational man' to a more diverse and human-centred approach focused on satisfying needs within ecological limits. We will explore this shift and how it may impact engineering.

Jennifer Wilkins is founder of Heliocene.org, an international advisory and advocacy practice focused on a post-growth business transition. She has a corporate professional background, with past roles spanning management accounting, infrastructure proposals management and impact programme management within the manufacturing, forestry and construction sectors. Jennifer is completing a Master's in Degrowth at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, she is an MBA of Warwick Business School, a CIMA-qualified chartered management accountant and a BSc Maths.

The Living Pā

Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka, is aiming to create one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable educational buildings. As a purpose-built living lab, the Living Pā will be an incubator for innovation, and a place for multiple communities and disciplines to come together to discuss how we can build a more equitable, fair, and sustainable society.

The redevelopment proposes to meet the internationally recognised Living Building Challenge for sustainable development principles – meaning it must generate all its own energy, use its own water systems, be entirely carbon-neutral and use non-toxic materials. It also must prove, a year after completion, that it’s as sustainable as it claims.

Structural Engineer James McLean from L.T McGuiness is the Project Manager on the Living Pā Construction and Design team. James has a longstanding interest in sustainability and green building so this project is a perfect alignment for his skillset. In this Climate Conversation, James will discuss how the team is bringing this forward thinking design to life, and what’s involved with adhering to the standards set by the Living Building Challenge.

Energy futures – a “net energy” lens

Through a systems perspective combining economics, environment and energy, Transition Engineer Nathan Surendran presents a broad perspective on the polycrisis (a cluster of related global risks with compounding effects – eg Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, cost-of-living and the climate crisis) and explains how energy futures look through a ‘net energy’ lens.

View the slides

Scott Base Development Project

In this Climate Conversation, Karissa Hyde and Clare Paynter, two of the most in-the-know engineers on the Scott Base Redevelopment, will discuss this challenging and exciting Antarctic Project, including the upgrade of the Ross Island Wind Energy System.

Introduction to Environmental Product Declarations, part two

In part 2 of the Climate Conversation discussing Environmental Product Declarations, brought to you by Water New Zealand, experts provide an understanding of the process of producing, procuring and decision-making using EPDs.

The objectives for the webinar are:

  • Understand how EPDs can be used in planning infrastructure development and decision making.
  • Share examples of EPDs in use and provide insights into the tools available for completing optioneering assessments of infrastructure development.
  • Explain how EPDs can be used, accessed, and inform asset planning processes.
  • Provide examples of using EPDs to drive innovation in manufacturing processes.

Introduction to Environmental Product Declarations, part two

Introduction to Environmental Product Declarations, part one

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) offer credible, data-based, and verified information that support sustainable product choices. This Climate Conversation will inform product manufacturers, suppliers, and operators of the purpose of EPDs as well as the fundamentals of how they are produced and used. Through case studies you’ll also learn how EPDs are used from both an operator/product and supplier/manufacturer perspective. This Climate Conversation was brought to you by Water New Zealand.

NZGBC Rating Tools – for better and more sustainable buildings

Buildings and their construction account for as much as 20% of New Zealand's emissions. New Zealand Green Building Council, Te Kaunihera Hanganga Tautaiao (NZGBC) is on a mission to change that. In this Climate Conversation Brad Crowley, Senior Manager, Buildings and Communities at NZGBC discusses the benefits of green building certifications including the different rating tools managed by NZGBC. He also talks about the new update to the rating tool, Green Star Buildings and how engineers can make sure this new tool is fit for purpose for New Zealand. View the presentation slides

Embodied carbon and its incorporation into New Zealand’s regulatory systems

Antonia Reid, Policy Director for the Building for Climate Change Programme, and Katie Symons, Principal Advisor, Engineering, from MBIE’s Building System Performance Branch presented on embodied carbon. In this climate conversation they cover technical methodology, what engineers need to know, and what’s next in incorporating this into the regulatory systems.

There is no recording but Antonia and Katie have kindly agreed to share their slides from this climate conversation

Key Principles of a Circular Economy

In this climate conversation, Debbie O'Byrne discusses the key principles of a Circular Economy and help engineers understand and leverage the shift in thinking a CE transition creates.

NZ concrete industry's journey towards NET ZERO carbon

Ralf Kessel is the convener of the Concrete NZ Masonry Sector Group and of the Concrete NZ Sustainability Committee which was established in May 2019 and will discuss the industry's journey towards NET ZERO carbon.

Research for reducing environmental impact involving renovations of historic buildings in NZ

Rachel Paschoalin will share her research involving renovations of historic buildings in New Zealand, towards a holistic method for reducing environmental impact.

A hospital pass

Jack Young, a mechanical engineer, discusses how the heavily regulated, change-averse healthcare sector has begun to drive transformational change to tackle the task of energy transition – and what can be learned and applied across other industries.

What te ao Māori can teach us about climate change

In our first Climate Conversation, Akuhata Bailey-Winiata (University of Waikato) speaks specifically about his work on the relevance and application of mātauranga and te ao Māori in climate change.